Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Anti-social media?

It's ironic that an important part of the ethic behind what we call social media is itself anti-social in origin. One way of looking at the Net is as an elitist utopia that dynamically maintains itself in a fairly constant state of incipient failure: misanthropy posing as idealised popular democracy. Hardly surprising really, as the greatest popular democracy of them all regarded the majority of its inhabitants as something less than fully human.

The info-age elites have created one virtually-gated community after another only to see each of them overrun in turn by the marketers and the masses. And so they move on to the next big thing...

And as Michel Houellebecq has pointed out, our society's most absurdly ascendant elite, the one whose values are coming to override all others in our culture, is Youth. MySpace typifies this − hideous, but essentially the collective handiwork of the narrow (and callow) demographic that matters most to our civilisation.

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